California is Always a Good Idea.

I didn’t always think so. After putting down a deposit down at NYU and then backing out because of the massive tuition, I always pictured myself in Manhattan. And I do love the East Coast. But after living in California, all things I thought I wouldn’t like about California (crazy peace signs, hippies, and all that jazz) have paled in comparison to all the delightful surprises–from In-n-Out Burgers to simply driving down the freeway. Beauty is everywhere. And yes, in San Francisco, I do have to pay ten cents if I want a bag from any store, but I don’t care (I mean, I do care. But when I look at these pictures it is hard to care.).

If you ask me, from now on my advice will always be the same: California is always a good idea.

For my twenty fifth birthday (over six months ago), my friend, Lis, took me on an adventure. She planned the whole thing and she drove (what a good friend). After having a homeless man spit on me, and probably feeling badly because he was aiming at her, she decided I needed to get out of the city and experience more “California” and a little less “San Francisco.” (Yes, he really did spit on me.)

And away we go...

And away we go…

I didn’t really know where we were going except that involved oysters. However, first, we communed with nature, the way that California Girls do.

Yeah, Nature!

Yeah, Nature!

Stinson Beach.

Stinson Beach.

Bob the Bird

Bob the Bird

I just want to give you a little fashion advice. Cheetah flats are appropriate for any and all occasions. Especially adventures.

I just want to give you a little fashion advice. Cheetah flats are appropriate for any and all occasions. Especially adventures.

I’ve only ever been to warm beaches where I read and tan (burn) and reapply sunscreen every hour but this beach was cold. Lis, who like most Californians, finds 60 degree weather unbearable, squealed as the wind blew our hair every which way. But I love Chicago fall weather and this felt like that weather was transplanted to a beach. I loved it!SONY DSCWe stopped off at a little store to get some fancy waters, crackers, and cheese before making our way to Hog Island Oyster company, the best Oysters you can find in Northern California. They harvest and sell them. They were delicious and once again, the scenery was breathtaking.

Definitely.

Definitely worth the drive.

Definitely worth the drive

Definitely.

The view...It's pretty hard to take an ugly photograph here (see, what I did there?)

The view…It’s pretty hard to take an ugly photograph here (see, what I did there?)

It was a quiet celebration between two friends who met through the strangest of circumstances (another blog post; don’t worry, I keep a list) and have learned a lot from one another. In a year and a half, we’ve experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly of each other which, weirdly, is pretty special. It’s not like we show our crazy side to just anyone, right? But because both of us have such fast paced jobs, this birthday celebration was perfection. It also felt like a friendship celebration (or a friendenaisnce…any Friends fans in the house?) and a breather. We’d made it. We’d both just been promoted. Take a breath and eat an oyster, folks.

Lissy Lou Who

Lissy Lou Who

Just a stop on the side of the road

Just a stop on the side of the road

Where I had my major realization

Where I had my major realization

On this trip, while Lis drove through the winding roads and I gazed at the rolling green hills and the cliffs overlooking the ocean, I experienced a moment of pure clarity. I slugged Lis in the arm. “I finally get it!” I screamed because the windows were down and I had to be loud.

“Get what?” she yelled back.

Have you ever seen those commercials for cheese and milk that end with “Cows are happier in California”? I ended up going to a pure midwest school and this commercial angered some folks. Their cows aren’t any different than our cows, the midwestern farmers cried, and what does happiness have to do with milk and cheese? Those hoity-toity Californians. 

No, no, no, Midwestern Farmers. I am here to tell you something. As I drove through these hills, I spied some cows grazing on a green hill overlooking the ocean in February, and the epiphany shot through me like lightening.

“Cows REALLY ARE happier in California!” I yelled at Lis (who never saw the commercial.) “They really, really are!”

I stand by my statement,

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7 thoughts on “California is Always a Good Idea.

  1. alduina

    Aren’t you asking for a discount on those bags. Offer five cents. When I visit, I will bring all the bags I get for nothing, then you can reuse them.!!!!!

    1. Nina Post author

      Nonna. It is a L-A-W. And the whole point is to encourage people to bring their own bags. And be green. But you cannot negotiate the LAW. 🙂

  2. Steve

    Any adventure is better with oysters. And also research backs up your premise that happier cows give off superior end products.

  3. Amy

    Your words brings to mind Chicago columnist Mary Schmich/ Baz Lurhmann’s song “Wear Sunscreen”, which has been one of my mantras for eternity. The lines ‘Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.’ We all need roots to survive, sometimes they work best shallow, sometimes deep roots hold us upright. And at others; air roots are all that is needed. Transplanting can occur, but in the end, all that is simply required is a good watering! Make life here in this very present, and where ever that may be, dedicate yourself to being fully in that moment. (And yes, I can see how the oysters would help!)

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